2020 Scholarship Winners

Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC  would like to congratulate all of the students that applied to our scholarship contest. This year, we asked applicants to write an essay addressing one of the three topics we provided. We received many creative essay submissions and although we wish we could award every student who applied, we had to narrow our selection down to three winners. Please join us in congratulating our winners and be sure to check back next year to apply for our scholarship.

2020 Scholarship Winners:

1st Place: Akshita Raghuvanshi

Question: What does legacy mean to you? What do you think it means to leave a legacy? Are there different kinds of valuable legacies? What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Akshita Raghuvanshi, winner of the Brady Cobin Law Group scholarship contestTo me, a legacy is what remains of someone even when they no longer remain. The world we live in today is an amalgam of legacies left by the people who came before us. What is federalism if it isn’t Hamilton’s legacy? What is the 19th amendment if it isn’t the suffragettes’ legacy? What are discrimination laws if they aren’t the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement? But legacies aren’t restricted to politics. Leaving a legacy could be a fortune donated to charity, a radical discovery that changed the world, or simply having loved your family and inspiring them to do well in your name. Anything is a legacy if it endures and inspires.

To leave a legacy is to build a monument to your efforts that weathers time even when you are no longer there to defend it. It is planting a flag in the ground that others will see and respect and be encouraged by even when the person who planted it is gone. There are easily identifiable legacies in history, but there are so many kinds that even the average person can leave behind. Maybe all of us can’t discover new elements and eradicate malaria with our fortunes. But, we can save well and invest carefully. We can raise our children with love and affirmation. We can work hard and manage our assets well. We can safeguard our heirlooms and maintain our family homes. Those are all legacies in their own right. Saving enough money to benefit your family after your death is a legacy that can make their lives easier. Investing in the right things can lead to huge gains down the line that can propel generational wealth. Raising children in a safe and supportive household will lead to them becoming healthy adults who carry on that tradition. Well-preserved homes can become decades-old hearths of family history. Maybe those things aren’t fancy, maybe they aren’t much, but they are legacies.

I like to think that I’m a simple person. My desires for the future are to do well in my career, live comfortably, and leave the world in a better place than before. If I were to leave a legacy, I would want it to be defined by those goals. I want to work hard as a woman in STEM and build a name for myself that inspires other young women to pursue their goals. I want to do all that I can to be at the top of the game so that when my time is done, someone else can see what I accomplished and know that they can do it too. I want to raise a family where my children know that they are loved and accepted, that success can only happen through failure, and that the world will be better for having more kindness in it. I want to fight for the underrepresented and work to build a better future. My work, my kids, my activism— that will be my legacy.

2nd Place: Yuri Bautista-Mendez

Question: What does legacy mean to you? What do you think it means to leave a legacy? Are there different kinds of valuable legacies? What sort of legacy do you want to leave behind?

Yuri Bautista-Mendez, winner of the Brady Cobin Law Group scholarshipFrom my perspective, legacy signifies our most valuable possessions, accomplishments, character, and service towards others. It’s a notable life achievement that has been attained through commitment and a strong work ethic that will influence the generations to come. To leave a legacy means to gift essential life tools to upcoming generations—a spirit of faith, integrity, motivation, and love—allowing them to delight in fruits of their ancestor’s successes and to aid in the attainment of their own goals.

There is a profuse amount of valuable legacies; however, it’s up to each individual to decide what they are and how they will impact their inheritors. Monetary legacies—houses and businesses—are among the most common ones. Dispersing wealth among one’s children remains a common practice—securing a foundation for their future. To succeed and prosper they have to know how to properly administer the wealth. This requires adequate character. While money is a valuable legacy, effective personality traits and attitudes are far more valuable. Leaving behind a strong work ethic and knowledge motivates the inheritor to responsibly manage the wealth and implement those traits in their future endeavors.

I certainly want to leave behind a monetary legacy, to ensure that my children will have a firm foundation to succeed. More importantly, I want to leave behind a legacy of fruitful character and service towards others. As the daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, I’ve faced multiple hardships—language and financial barriers—yet I’ve managed to secure a plethora of opportunities. I’ve taken initiative by earning my nursing assistant certification during high school and completing a highly competitive internship at a medical clinic. I acquired valuable knowledge through real patient interaction and decided to pursue a career in nursing at UNC-Greensboro.

As a first-generation college student, I’ve shown dedication and perseverance by enrolling in the Lloyd International Honors College, succeeding academically, and maintaining a part-time CNA job. I’ve demonstrated a spirit of compassion by serving others in my community. I’ve volunteered at the Brown Bag Ministry by preparing bagged lunches, and at the Bread For Life Mobile Market by expediting the movement of food boxes—reaching local families in need of alimentary aid. Additionally, I’ve served at Real World English, an outreach program that teaches Latino parents to speak English. While the parents attend class, I engage with their children through educational enrichment activities. As a Latina, I’ve connected with these children through shared experiences and encouraged them to pursue their dreams. In the fall, I’ll be a Peer Academic Leader—serving first-year students during their transition to UNCG as a teaching assistant and mentor through a seminar course. My ultimate goal is to continue to show compassion upon becoming a registered nurse by caring and advocating for my patients during their most vulnerable moments.

I want to leave a legacy of fruitful character by giving testimony of initiative, perseverance, dedication, and compassion. Above all, I want my descendants to inherit the spirit of faith—not only in God but in themselves, as well—to accomplish their dreams, reciprocate service towards others, and leave behind legacies of their own.

3rd Place: Carter Askins

Question: Think about the legacy you want to leave behind. How important will estate planning, creating a will, and other planning be to maintaining your legacy?

Carter Askins, winner, Brady Cobin Law Group ScholarshipCreating a legacy has been in the forefront of my mind since making the decision on where to attend college, as well as my future career plans.  First and foremost, I would like to obtain my education and start a career that not only will provide for me and my family, but also for my children and their families after I am gone.

At an early age, my parents instilled in me the importance of saving money for the future.  I remember opening my own bank account while I was in elementary school, where I would deposit Christmas and birthday money, instead of keeping it in my wallet.  I remember always being curious about money and the how and why it was used in certain ways.  I remember my grandparents buying savings bonds for me for “my education” and learning later the importance of them laying that foundation for me.  I heard words like “401K” and “529 plans” being talked about in my house and asking questions about the “why” of using these methods of saving rather than just putting money into a savings account.  Understanding the “whys” about investing money at an early age is extremely important in making smart decisions for the future.

Estate planning has the connotation of being for the rich, when that could not be farther from the truth.  Planning for the future is for all economic levels.  The plans you make when you are young are going to be what protects you and your family in the future.   By making decisions early on in your life, you can work to live out your goals.  My plan is to make short term and long-term goals immediately after college.  In the short term, it is important to plan for a house, paying off any college debt, planning for a family, while starting to save what I can.  In the long term, saving and investing will be the goal.  Making smart investments with the help of a financial planner will be a key component in making sound financial decisions.

Creating a will is essential in making sure that all assets that you acquire at any age, even when you are young, are distributed to those people in your life that you identify.  In addition, you may want to ensure that certain people are given certain items, certain monies, or certain properties, rather than have a court must decide later.  In addition, it is smart to have medical powers of attorney in place in the case that medical decisions need to be made for you if you become incapacitated at any age.

Planning for your future is not something that should be left for people to do when they are older or retiring.  It is a smart decision to plan early, especially is setting smart financial goals for yourself.  My goal is to begin planning my future as soon as I get my first job after college and creating a legacy that I can leave to my family.

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